By: Ted Nugent
I’m sure it was as early as the summer of 1950 when I 1st experienced and discovered the life changing stimuli of outdoor family time. Mom always raved how I was not only walking on my own before my 2nd birthday but running helter-skelter nonstop every day. I remember hearing the word incorrigible often accompanied by the rolling of eyes and much sighing.
But how could I help it? Afterall, my dad, Warren Henry Nugent was already a serious follower of our Michigan legend Fred Bear, and I am certain I had a little bow and arrow in my hands within the 1st years of my life.
Not only was I blessed beyond measure to be born in America, but I was born in the wonderful city of Detroit when neighborliness, goodwill, decency and hardcore patriotism and the outdoor lifestyle were alive and well and flourishing. Add to that the wildlife paradise of the winding Rouge River jungles right across the street from our home, and I am here to tell you that the mighty Spirit of the Wild grabbed me by the soul and hooked me gungho!
Some of my fondest memories are those casual strolls through forest and field with my trusty longbow and a few Port Orford cedar arrows in my backquiver. Tipped with blunts and eventually the amazing Judo heads by Jack Zwickey, it was the ultimate hand-eye coordination lessons of random stump and clump shooting that created the best archers and bowhunters of yore.
Fred Bear believed in it and wrote extensively about it. So did Howard Hill, Ben Pearson, Gail Martin, Saxton Pope, Art Young, Roy Case, Doug Walker, Jim Doughtery and pretty much every archery and bowhunting writer of the era.
The creation of the National Field Archery Association came about due to the sheer enjoyment of this style of archery and its pragmatic application could not be beat for real world bowhunting training and practice.
So here it is 68 years later for this old mystical flight of the arrow addict, and I am overjoyed to share with you that very little has changed for me. I make it a daily activity for at least a short while to shoot at anything and everything from old stumps, clumps of grass and weeds, dirtclods, a dark spot in the ground, from 10 yards to 100 yards!
Knowing that the accumulated cost of our arrows has gone through the roof, I doubt there is very little participation in this “roving” archery discipline these days.
Add up the cost of shaft, fletching, heads and lighted nocks and a single lost arrow can cost more than the most expensive custom exotic wildcat rifle round!
That being said, with bright visibility fletch, a good old Judo head and lighted nock attached, lost arrows can for the most part be eliminated or at least drastically reduced.
I am here to tell you, as I’m rather certain most readers here already know, that nothing in life can quite compare with the stress smashing, soul cleansing “nature as healer” walk in the woods.
Add to these woodland strolls the spirit encapsulating aim small miss small focus of the shooting sports, and you will come out of the woods a better stress free person everytime.
And don’t think this random target roving style of shooting is limited to archery either. I get the same excitement and soothing accomplishments when stump shooting with my handgun or .22 rifle as well.
And glory of glory, I am here to tell you that I can think of very few things in life that will better serve and maintain the attention of young people than such casual shooting fun in the great outdoors.
With the mind numbing scourge of electronic zombie inactivity plaguing the youth of the world, it is this surefire outdoor stimuli that may very well save an entire generation the way I see it.
So get ‘em out there! It doesn’t have to be hunting season to celebrate the spirit of the hunting lifestyle. The more time spent in the wild while honing our projectile management skills, the better prepared we will be when the moment of truth arrives come fall.
Aim small miss small, take a walk on the wildside and may your spirit be forever wild!